Marine Mapping & GIS

Channel Designs for Dredging

It is a naturally occurring process for silt and sand to wash downstream and gradually fill harbours and channels. This process is known as sedimentation. Sand and silt build up may also occur from wave action or after storm events.

To keep waterways clear for navigation, dredging needs to be carried out. Dredging removes sediment from the bottom of a fresh water area or shallow sea and relocates it to other suitable locations (known as spoil grounds).


What is a Channel Design?

Dredging companies

A channel design generally consists of the channel bed at its design depth of water.  This channel bed is then used to build the 3D model by creating the channel bed surface and adding batters to the model where appropriate. 

This model is the foundation of the dredging campaign and can be used for:


  • Volume computations such as:
    1. Volume of material to be removed to achieve the channel design
    2. Over dredge volumes
    3. Capacity available within the spoil grounds
    4. Volume of sand required to renourish a beach to a design file
  • Cross Section Profiles
  • Design file to load in to dredging contractor’s on-board system

Why should you conduct a Channel Design?

Accurate channel model


Accurate survey data


Accurate volume of material to be removed/added

By implementing this process you:

  • Prepare your project for a smooth and surprise free execution
  • Tender writing is simplified
  • The risk of exceeding budgets is minimised
  • All stakeholders know precisely what is involved within the project

How can you use the Channel Design?

A Channel Design is a 3D geo-referenced digital surface that demonstrates the surface you are aiming to achieve in a visual, easily accessible way. 

Total Hydrographic can provide you with initial design drawings and build a 3D channel model. Once the channel model is built it can be exported to AutoCAD or can be used to produce volume estimates and cross section profiles for dredging companies. This is just one example of high grade technology assisting with precise marine mapping.

Total Hydrographic’s channel designs are conducted exclusively by professionally recognised Level 1 and Level 2 Certified Hydrographic Surveyors, assessed by the Australasian Hydrographic Surveyors Certification Panel (AHSCP) through the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute. 

Our staff have tertiary qualifications and experience in Hydrographic Surveying, Geomatic Engineering, Marine Mapping and GIS, Cartography and National Maritime Operations.

A list of certified professionals in hydrographic surveying can be found here.

Get the most out of your dredging campaign. Allow Total Hydrographic to create a channel design to give your dredging contractor the best possible start.

We Have the Experience - Call us!